The Military in oil-rich Gabon says it has seized power after they launched a coup "to restore democracy".
According to the BBC, the soldiers took control of the national radio station in the early hours of Monday to read a short statement announcing a "National Restoration Council".
Tanks and armed vehicles can be seen on the streets of the capital Libreville.
Ailing President Ali Bongo, whose family has ruled for 50 years, took over power in 2009. He reportedly suffered a stroke in October and received treatment in Morocco.
Mr Bongo sought to put an end to the rumours about his health with a New Year message in which he said he was feeling fine.
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Soldiers said they had been disappointed by the message, calling it "a pitiful sight" and a "relentless attempt to cling onto power."